Texas Gov. Rick Perry has asked the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for nearly $350 million to cover the costs incurred detaining illegal immigrants in state prisons and county jails.
In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Perry criticized the federal government hasn't been doing enough to secure the border with Mexico, thereby allowing illegal immigrants to enter the U.S. and use taxpayer-funded resources, including prisons and jails. It's a claim the Republican governor has made many times before.
The letter was dated Aug. 10, three days before Perry formally announced he is running for president.
Reached after-hours Friday by phone, DHS spokesman Matthew Chandler said he wasn't in position to comment and said he could not confirm that the DHS had even received the letter.
Perry has been criticized by some fellow conservatives as being too lenient on illegal immigration issues. Unlike fellow GOP presidential hopeful Rep. Michele Bachmann, Perry does not think the U.S. should build a wall spanning the entire Mexican border. Perry also has supported discounted tuition rates for the children of illegal immigrants at Texas universities, and he has said Arizona's tough-on-immigration law wouldn't be right for Texas.